Many small businesses believe that they don’t need to focus on cybersecurity because hackers only target large companies. However, small businesses are frequently targeted by cybersecurity attacks that focus on stealing personal information like credit card numbers, login credentials, and other pieces of private data. In an effort to help independent companies remain safe on the Internet, we’ve put together a list of the best cybersecurity tips for small businesses. Take a look at the list below and use it to reevaluate your business’s current cybersecurity practices.
Why Does Cybersecurity Matter for a Small Business?
Small businesses often make do with fewer cybersecurity protections because they believe they do not need more robust security. Additionally, many businesses cannot afford to integrate strong cybersecurity protocols. As a result, these businesses have a weaker privacy setup that can be exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to customer data, banking information, and more.
When small businesses are the victim of ransomware, malware, or phishing attacks, it can be seriously detrimental to the foundation of the company. Even one small security breach can set a small business back significantly. But it’s not just hackers and Internet scammers that small businesses have to watch out for. In some cases, these hacks may even be perpetuated by competitors or ex-employees.
The best way to keep your business safe from a serious cybersecurity attack is to stay informed and to help your employees understand the importance of ongoing cybersecurity precautions. Let’s take a look at some of the best cybersecurity tips for small businesses to help them avoid serious threats to their security.
The Best Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses
While not every small business is the same, it’s important to have a foundation that encourages safety across the organization regardless of the size of the company or the products/services it offers. In order to build that strong foundation, those managing small businesses should take the following tips into consideration for future cybersecurity efforts.
1. Use strong passwords on all accounts and devices
For a skilled cybercriminal, hacking into social media and email accounts is easier than you may think. This typically occurs because the person behind the account is using a password that is common, weak, or easy for cyberattackers to guess. It’s important to update your passwords to ensure that your credentials cannot be compromised.
Remember to avoid using personal information in your passwords, such as your pet’s name or something directly related to your business. For example, if you sell sports equipment, you wouldn’t want to have words like “basketball” or “touchdown” in your password. Instead, try creating something that is both easy to remember and difficult to guess. We’ve created a quick guide to help you come up with a unique password here. When in doubt, you can also use a password generator to help you come up with something entirely different.
2. Install reliable antivirus software and a VPN
The devices you use within your small business should be secure, regardless of the size of your company. This includes the phones, tablets, and point-of-sale systems used in your store. The best way to protect these devices is to use antivirus software and a powerful VPN.
With antivirus software, you can prevent serious attacks that plant viruses or malware in your system. Coupled with a VPN that protects your privacy, this is a great way to secure all of your professional devices against potential threats.
3. Add multi-factor authentication for additional security
The easiest way to increase your security is to utilize multi-factor authentication. This process forces users to verify their identity before logging into an account. Users may have to click on a link in an email, provide a numerical code to an app, or respond to a text message. This makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to impersonate one of your personnel because it adds a barrier between them and your operation.
4. Ensure that all software is up-to-date
When you run outdated software on your work device, you risk exposure to serious security risks. Without continuously applying patches to your software and keeping your devices up-to-date, cybercriminals can easily infiltrate your computer, phone, and tablet.
Many software applications will push security patches fairly frequently, helping users mitigate the risk of an attack. These updates keep you and your devices from being taken over by any cybercriminal who looks to exploit the vulnerabilities in your system or application.
5. Monitor your WiFi network
Do you know all of the devices that are on your Wi-Fi network? If you want to keep your small business safe from serious attacks, it’s vital to keep track of the activity on your connection. Without checking to see which devices are accessing your network, you can be giving unlimited access to cybercriminals unknowingly. We created an easy-to-use guide on how to monitor the traffic on your Wi-Fi network, which you can view here.
6. Backup data regularly
Keeping active backups of your data is an important part of ensuring the security of your business. If there is ever a circumstance where your computer needs to be restored to factory settings, a backup can help you keep track of your data so that the flow of business is not interrupted. Ensure that these backups are recent and updated frequently.
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No matter what kind of small business you run, it’s vital that you keep your personal data safe. If you want powerful security for all of your devices, you need PrivadoVPN. With the latest privacy tools from PrivadoVPN, it’s easy to protect your business against cybersecurity attacks and other serious online threats. With our integrated ad blocker, threat detection, and advanced encryption protocols, you can rest assured that your small business is in good hands.
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